Sitting on the train the other day I had a lovely “conversation” with “Gidget”, a youngish, black lab cross guide guide dog puppydog and her owner.

Which reminded me of how well charities like Guide Dogs NSW market themselves. Something we can all learn from.

Guide Dogs uses a combination of print and telemarketing to get their message out.

Every so often we get a printed newsletter which features stories of dogs and their owners. How much mobility is restored and how much our donations help. The material is extremely well written and designed to evoke our emotional commitment.

BTW, they get almost no government support.

What always impresses us is the quality of their telemarketing team and the information about us and our past purchases they have at their fingertips.

In my opinion what sets Guide Dogs apart is they don’t just ask for donations. They offer useful products we can buy as part of the package.

Over the years we’ve bought everything from first aid kits, indoor and picnic blankets and recently a printed ironing board cover.

All products which remind us of them every time we use them.

So I thought we’d distil some of their marketing and sales wisdom here.

It can take 5 to 9+ touches to make a sale. Most people give up after the first or second attempt. Not them.

They’re consistent. They know they won’t necessarily get a sale each time. They’re polite and ask for permission to call back.

They know their customers. They have very accurate records of what we’ve donated and bought in the past. By reminding us we get to remember we liked and found their products well-made and useful, so why not buy another?

We know they do excellent work. So we trust them.

They take “no” with good grace. I can’t tell you how many telemarketers I’ve hung up on because they simply won’t take no for an answer. They try and counter every objection while becoming objectionable themselves!

Not so with the Guide Dogs (and most other charities for that matter).

And above all, every person we’ve dealt with is thoroughly nice.

Becoming an organisation people love dealing with is not rocket science. Just treat people with respect, offer a great product/service, deliver on your promises and you will establish trust in your marketplace.

Combine this with effective marketing and selling and your growth will follow.

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